Below is a full transcript of my Beating Blackjack DVD. It should be helpful if you’re hearing-impaired, or just for making notes while watching.
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(The transcript below is free…)
This DVD assumes you know
the basic rules of how to play blackjack.
If you need to learn them, you can
find them at www dot expertinsight dot com. [Note: domain name now belongs to someone else.]
Are you ready to leave Las Vegas a winner?
Hi, I’m Andy Bloch.
10 years ago I started playing blackjack for profit
with the infamous MIT blackjack team.
Since then, our teams have earned
more than $5 million.
In this Expert Insight presentation,
I’m going to teach you
the skills I learned
on the MIT team.
I’m going to teach you how to
play basic strategy, how to count cards
and how to spread your bets.
Then I’m going to teach you how to
camouflage your skill
and use team play
to make some serious money.
By the end of this DVD,
you’ll know how to beat blackjack
like I did with the MIT team.
Come along with me
as I play some real blackjack
in a fictional casino
with some fictional players.
The first step in beating blackjack
is basic strategy,
knowing whether to hit,
stay, double down, or split.
– Give me a ten. Face card.
– It isn’t hard to learn, and
I’ll show you how in a minute.
All right, the dealer’s showing a 10,
and I have a soft 18.
You’ll see that basic strategy
teaches us that facing a 10,
we should hit this hand.
– I’ll take one.
– Ouch. Now I have 14
facing a 10, I have to hit that too.
– Nice hitting on the 18 buddy.
Alright, you took all the 6s.
C’mon, give me a 5.
– This guy doesn’t know basic strategy.
– Where’d you learn how to play, rookie?
– Blackjack is beatable because cards
aren’t shuffled every hand.
And, depending on the remaining cards,
the advantage can swing to the player.
This means you can keep track of the
cards that have already been dealt,
and then determine whether the cards
remaining are more favorable to you
or to the casino.
Fortunately, the system I’m gonna teach
you for counting cards is pretty simple
even if you didn’t go to MIT.
Finally, blackjack is beatable beacause
you are allowed to vary your bet.
I’m gonna teach you how to vary your bet
based on the count, so you’re
betting more when you have an advantage.
This is called optimal betting.
Dealer: 21.|Andy: Alright!
New player: There we go.
Hot table?|Andy: Now it is.
– Most tourists play at a 2-4%|disadvantage to the house.
But not you. You’re gonna combine|basic strategy, card counting,
and optimal betting and play at|a 1% advantage over the hose.
Casinos don’t like whe you|have the advantage,
so I’m going to teach you|how to disguise your abilities
so they keep welcoming|you back.
– You’ll see that sometimes,|playing incorrectly is the right
choice, just to convince the house|that you’re like every other tourist.
Dealer: 20|- Can I see the next card?
Dealer: I’m sorry sir…|- I know they can’t show me
that card. Anything to convince the|house that I’m just another chump.
When you start making big|money playing blackjack,
casinos will start noticing your game.
For me, that’s part of the fun.
Basic strategy is the mathematically|correct way to play
based only on your cards|and the dealer’s up card.
The basic strategy chart included|with this DVD gives you the correct
play for every possible|situation at the blackjack table.
It will show you whether you|should hit, stand, split, double,
You look across the top of the|chart for the dealer’s up card,
and along the left side|for the hand that you hold.
Let’s say you have a 9|and the dealer has a 6 up.
The chart says to double down.
The chart is broken|down into 5 sections.
The sections make basic|strategy easy to learn
by grouping similar types|of hands together.
For instance, this section tells you|that when you have a total
of 11 or less, you should|always hit or double down.
The same holds true for when you|have soft 13 through soft 17.
You should always|hit, or double.
With soft 19 and 20, you|should always stand.
Soft 18 has a few|ways to be played.
And everybody loves|a blackjack!
There’s one section|just for pairs.
Always split aces.
Always split 8s.
Never split 5s or 10s.
With every other pair,|you’re almost always
With a pair of 9s, you should|stand against a 7, 10, or Ace.
There’s also a chart that|tells you whether to hit,
when you hold a hard|12 through 16.
Learning this chart is|easier than you think.
Don’t worry if it takes time.|But do learn this chart.
It is the basic building block|of beating blackjack.
This chart is based on typical|Las Vegas strip casino rules.
Shoe contains 6 decks.|Blackjack pays off 3 to 2.
You can double down|on any 2 cards.
You can double down|after splitting.
First hand 11, double down.
Re-splitting is allowed.
Some casinos hit on soft 17.
This affects basic strategy|in only a few instances.
Notice that insurance isn’t listed.
Insurance is for suckers|and for card counters.
Since you’re not counting yet,|just playing basic strategy,
you should never take insurance.
By playing perfect basic strategy,|you’ll be cutting down the casino’s
edge from up to 4% to under 1/2%.
Look at it this way, a typical|tourist who visits Vegas for
a weekend, plays about|6 hours of blackjack,
which translates to|around 1,000 hands.
If this tourist is betting|$25 per hand,
and losing 2% on average, he|can expect to lose around $500.
But if this tourist applied|perfect basic strategy,
he can expect to lose about $100.
He saved $400 just by|memorizing a chart.
Obviously our goal is to make|money, not just lose less.
We’ll get to the winning part
when we start counting cards|and varying our bets.
I suggest you keep a chart with|you and play at a casino with it
until you know basic strategy|without even thinking.
Most casinos don’t mind you|referring to a chart when playing.
In fact, they probably like it,|because it indicates to them
that you are a novice player|and pose no threat.
If you don’t have easy access|to a casino, there are
software programs that|let you practice for free
by playing in a simulated casino.
Go to www dot expertinsight dot com slash blackjacktoolbox for details. [Note: domain name now belongs to someone else. Email or post a comment here.]
Basic strategy summary.
Using a chart in a casino is|legal, even encouraged.
Basic strategy cuts the house’s|edge and saves you money.
Just in case you thought I was|kidding the first 3 times I said it,
I really, really, mean it.|Use the chart.
Let’s head back to the fictional|casino and look at basic strategy
Since the casino still has an|advantage, I want to find the table
that gives me value for my money.
[Ladies in unison]: Hi!
– 2000 please.
I’m going to be betting|100 a hand.
Dealer: Change 2000.
Andy: 2000 will give me a nice|cushion for now.
We’ll talk more about bankroll,
and how much to bring|to the table a little later.
Dealer: Alright players, make your|bets. Here we go.
5… 6… 8… 9…
It doesn’t matter what|card the dealer gets,
I know that the basic strategy|card says to always split 8s.
Now, let’s look at the girls’|hands and see what
basic strategy would|advise them to do.
Always hit or double down|when you have 11 or less.
You can’t bust.
Dealer: 8 hits. 15. 15 on a 9.
When you have a hard 15,|and the dealer has a 9,
you’ve gotta take a hit.
[Craps table in background: Yo 11.]
Dealer:|20. Congratulations. 9 on a 9.
Andy: You already know to|always hit or double down
when you have 11 or less.
Dealer: Hit.|17. 17 on a 9. Stay.
– Nice, very nice.
Andy: OK, my turn. Let’s look at|the order in which I make my
basic strategy decisions.
My first decision is whether or|not to split, or surrender.
We already know to always split 8s.
Dealer: 8s.|Andy: Now I have 2 hands.
Andy: My second decision is|whether or not to double down.
With an 11 against a dealer’s 9,|I should double down.
Double that.|Dealer: Double down, here we go.
Andy: It’s always fun|when it works.
Andy: My final decision is|whether to hit or stand.
You’ve got to hit a 15|versus the dealer’s 9.
Dealer: Hit again.|Andy: 6.
Dealer: 25|Andy: Oh well. That happens too.
At least I know I played it right.
Dealer: 16 against a 9.
Blonde: Can I surrender?
Andy: She can do whatever|the hell she wants.
Dealer: You can surrender.
Andy: Many beginners haven’t|even heard of surrender
and most casinos don’t offer|it, but it’s favorable
if you know when to surrender.
The basic strategy card will tell|you when you should surrender.
Just one more reason|to learn the card, folks.
Dealer: Dealer opens up 14. 14 hits.
24. Congratulations. You guys win.
Blonde: Let me get this straight,|so the only way to win money
in blackjack is by counting cards?|Dealer: Basically.
Brunette: Don’t you have|to be a genius to do that?
Andy: Don’t you have to be|a genius to count cards?
Not at all. In fact, on the|MIT team, we used to say,
we could teach|plywood to count cards.
But before I show you|how simple counting really is,
let me explain why it works.
Blackjack professionals count|because as cards are taken out
of the shoe, the edge swings|towards you or towards the
casino depending on what|the remaining cards are.
When there are a lot of 10s|and Aces left in the deck,
and fewer low cards,|the deck favors the player.
That’s mostly because|blackjack becomes more likely,
and the player gets paid a|50% bonus on every blackjack.
The card counting system I’m|going to teach is called Hi-Lo.
It’s simple to learn, yet|powerful enough to serve
as the prefered counting system|for the MIT blackjack team.
Here’s how it works. Low cards,|2 through 6, are good when removed,
and are assigned the value plus 1.
High cards, 10s through|Aces, are bad when removed,
and are assigned the|value negative 1.
The middle cards, 7, 8, and|9, are mostly neutral,
and assigned the value of 0.
You always want to start counting|at the beginning of a shoe,
starting with 0. Let’s practice.
The 5 is a low card. Plus 1.
The 7 is worth 0, so|the count stays at plus 1.
The 5 is worth 1, so the|count goes to plus 2.
Another low card brings us to plus 3.
8s are zero, we stay at plus 3.
An Ace is minus 1.|The count drops to plus 2.
The 6 is worth 1 and|brings us to plus 3.
The soft 18 would double|down. So would the 11.
The Queen is worth minus 1, so our|running count goes down to plus 2.
See, you don’t have to|be a genius to count cards.
You just have to practice.
Let’s try it a little faster now, and|I’ll only say the running count,
not the value of each card,|starting again at zero.
Once again, a little faster,|starting from zero,
with no yellow|numbers to help you.
Here are a few practice drills
that we found effective|on the MIT team.
You should always|carry a deck with you.
Count down an entire deck.
If you do it correctly, the count|will come out to zero.
Try determining if the last card|is going to be low, middle, or hi.
When you’re counting right,|you’ll know what it is.
Deal cards on a table|while keeping the count.
Deal the cards out while saying|the total of each hand.
If you can get a friend|to deal to you,
there are some great drills|you can do with a partner.
Have a partner deal to you,
as you try to play and|count at the same time.
Do the same thing, but this time
have the dealer say the|card values out loud.
The stress test,|or the check-out.
While your partner deals|and tries to distract you,
count down and play 3 full shoes.
If you can get through all|3 shoes making less than
3 mistakes total, you’re ready to
try your new skill in a casino.
OK, we have a new shoe,|time to start counting.
In a casino environment, counting|cards is much more difficult
than in a practice environment.
Sometimes, you only get to peek|at the cards that have been dealt.
Try your best to spot the cards|and keep the correct count.
Do you know the count?
If you got zero, good for you!
Dealer: 13 on a 5.|Stay.
16 on a 5.
Brunette (softly):|Let me see this thing.
Andy: I hope she didn’t buy that|chart from a casino gift shop.
Some of them are wrong,|and for different rules.
I’m gonna stay.|Dealer: Stay.
Andy: Double that.|Dealer: Soft 16 double. Here we go.
Blonde: I’ll stay.|Dealer: 19. Stay.
Dealer opens up 15.
Hit the 15. 17.
OK. So what’s the count?
The count is plus 1.
If you were correct, good job.
If you weren’t, don’t worry,|this is gonna take some practice.
One thing that makes|counting cards easier
is grouping pairs of cards in your|head that cancel each other out.
Let’s take a look at|that same hand again,
and let’s not start counting until|the second face up cards are dealt.
That way, we can pair cards|together more easily.
I wish this dealer would get|his big head out of the way.
The queen and the 3 cancel.
The 6 and the Jack cancel.
My Ace and 5 cancel.
I don’t even pay attention to the 9.
After all my training, the 7s, 8s,|and 9s are practically invisible.
My eyes jump right over them.
So I’ll group this 10|with the dealer’s 5.
The 10 and the 5 cancel.
So right now, the count is zero.
Dealer: 13 on a 5.|Stay.
16 on a 5.|Brunette: I’m gonna stay.
Andy: Double that.|Dealer: Soft 16 double. Here we go.
Andy: The 3 makes the count plus 1.
Blonde: I’ll stay.|Dealer: 19. Stay.
Dealer opens up 15.
Hit the 15. 17.
The two cards we hadn’t|seen yet, the Queen and the 2,
The count remains plus 1.
Now that you have|the correct count,
it’s important to|remember this number
as we move to the next hand.
Dealer: Alright players,|make your bets.
Remember, our running|count is at plus 1.
Can you group these next cards,
to see which cancel, and|which affect the count?
Dealer: 11. 6. And the|dealer opens up a 6.
Andy: How are you|doing with the count?
Right now, the count is plus 8.
Dealer: Hit.|19 on a 6. Stay.
10 on a 6.|Hit.
19. 19 on a 6.|Stay.
11 on a 6. Double|down. Here we go.
12.|Andy: Great, thanks dealer.
Can you still keep the count with|all the numbers being called out?
Right now, we’re at plus 6.
Dealer: 6s on a 6. Hit.
17. 17 on a 6. Stay.
Some casinos encourage|dealers to say as many
numbers as possible, to|throw off card counters.
Dealer: Dealer opens up 16.
Here we go. 16. 26. Here we go.
Andy: OK, what’s the count?
If you’re at +5, you’re|doing a great job.
Let’s watch this hand again.
Try to see if any of the players|make a basic strategy mistake
as you keep the count.
Dealer: 9 on a 6. Hit.
Andy: Oops, that’s a|basic strategy mistake.
She was supposed to|double a 9 against a 6.
Dealer: 19 on a 6. Stay.
10 on a 6. Hit.
That was another|basic strategy mistake.
You should also|double a 10 against a 6.
OK. What’s the count?
Remember, it was plus|1 going into this hand.
The count is plus 7.
Dealer: 19. 19 on a 6. Stay.
Andy: We already know I made|the right basic strategy decision.
And, got a terrible card.
Dealer: 6s on a 6.
Andy: What would you do|with two 6s against a 6?
You’d split them, right?
Blonde: Hit.|Dealer: Hit. 17. 17 on a 6.
Blonde: Stay.|Dealer: Stay.
Dealer opens up 16.
Here we go. 16. 26.
Andy: Well, even though the ladies|didn’t play it as they should have,
– Let me see that chart.
– the dealer was kind|enough to bust for us.
– Aren’t you supposed to|double on a 10 against a 6?
Dealer: Yeah, you a, you do|want to double on that.
Guess the chart’s wrong.
Brunette: Guess so.
Andy: OK, ok. Time to get serious.
The current running count is plus 5.
One more hand, at casino speed.
Remember, we’re starting at plus 5.
Dealer: Dealer opens up. 7.
Andy: Still at 9.
For the rest of the hand, you’re|going to have to count it yourself.
See if you can keep the count.
Dealer: 12 on a 7. Hit.
15 on a 7. Hit you.
21. Very nice.
10 on a 7.
Feeling lucky.|Double down or split?
Brunette: Double down.|Dealer: Double down. Here we go.
Dealer: split the deuces. Here we go.
First deuce, ooh 11.
Andy: Double down.
Dealer: Double down on the 11.
Very nice, 20.
Andy: Split again.|Dealer: Split again.
Here we go.
Andy: God, this guys a slob.
Dealer: 7 on a 7.
Andy: How you|doing with the count?
Is the dealer distracting you?
Dealer: 21. Very nice. Alright.
Dealer opens up…
Andy: The running count is…
If you were able to keep|count, you’re on a roll.
At 15, the count|is getting favorable,
especially considering the number|of decks remaining in the shoe.
The advantage has swung|from the casino to us,
‘cuz there are a lot of 10s|and Aces left in the shoe.
Now is the perfect time|to learn optimal betting.
You’ve got basic strategy down pat,
you count to perfection,
now it’s time to start making money
by varying your bet optimally.
First, before you start play, you|have to determine your betting unit.
Then, when you have the|advantage and the count’s favorable,
you bet in multiples of your betting|unit according to the count.
Let’s get started|determining your betting unit.
Your bankroll is what you’re|willing to invest in yourself
as a blackjack player.
If you want to do|this for serious profit,
you need to invest in|yourself over time.
Your betting unit should be|1/1000 of your total bankroll.
If you’re gonna bet $10 a hand,
you should bring about|$350 to the table.
If you want to bet $25 a hand,
be prepared to sit down with 800.
For this demonstration, my|bankroll will be $200,000.
What can I say, the MIT team|was very profitable for me.
My betting unit will be $200.
As you learn to play,|you should start off
with a much small unit
until you have confidence|in your abilities.
Raise or lower your unit|as your bankroll changes.
Say I lose $100,000,|half of my bankroll.
I would then drop my unit to $100.
What if I win $300,000?
In this case, my bankroll|would be $500,000,
and I’d raise my unit to $500.
By constantly adjusting|your betting unit,
you will never go broke,
and, your bankroll will|increase faster in the long run.
Your maximum bet should be at|least 4 times your betting unit.
Your maximum bet|can be higher if it
won’t get you kicked|out of the casino.
In our case, our maximum|bet is at least $800.
Never bet more than 1/4 of|the money you have on you
on one round, because you always|want to have enough money
to be able to split and double down.
So now we know our|unit and maximum bet
and we figured out how much|money to bring to the casino.
It’s time to learn how to calculate|our optimal bet based on the count.
First, we take the running count
and divide it by the number|of decks remaining.
We know our running count is +15.|But how many decks remain?
We can estimate how|many decks remain
by looking at the|number of discards.
Considering that this casino|uses a 6 decks shoe,
how many decks would you|say remain to be dealt?
This takes a little practice.
On the MIT team, we|practiced with discard trays
just like they use in casinos.
There are 6 decks of|cards in this discard tray.
Remember what they look like.
Now, we can take the cards out.
Split the pile in half.
Now each half is about 3 decks.
Here’s 3 decks. Remember|what this looks like.
Let’s see what 2 decks look like.
You can cut into 3 equal piles.
Here’s 2 decks.
Let’s add 2 more.
Let’s add one more deck.
And 5 decks.
Study these images long enough,
and you’ll be able to|guess very accurately
how many decks|remain in the shoe.
And, you’ll know this|song by heart too.
Now that we can accurately|estimate the remaining
decks in the shoe,
we’re ready to|determine our optimal bet.
Optimal betting. First, keep|an accurate running count.
Approximate the|number of decks remaining.
They’re using a 6-deck shoe,
so take the number of decks|you see in the discard tray,
and subtract it from 6.
That’s how many decks|are remaining in the shoe.
Divide the running count by|the number of decks remaining.
This is called the “true count.”
Subtract 1 from the true count to|determine how many units to bet.
Multiply the number of units|to bet by your betting unit.
Play two hands at a time|on spots next to each other,
and bet that amount per hand.
If you’re the only player at the|table, or if you can only play 1 hand,
bet 25% more on one hand.
Back in the fictional casino,|our running count got up to 15.
There were about 5 decks|remaining in that shoe.
15 divided by 5 is 3.
3 is our true count.
3 minus 1 equals 2.
So we should be 2 units.
If your result is ever less than 0,
bet as little as you can
without drawing too|much attention to your bet.
Even sit out if you|can get away with it.
Ideally, you don’t ever|want to place a bet
when you don’t|have an advantage.
But if you sit out or leave every|time you don’t have an advantage,
the casino will suspect|that you are a card counter.
A quick review before|I put out my money.
Our running count is at plus 15.
The blonde laughed at my jokes but|won’t give me her phone number.
We’ve played through about 1 deck
so there are about|5 decks remaining.
15 divided by 5 equals 3.
Our true count is +3.
Now we subtract 1 from|our true count of 3,
and we get 2, so we bet 2 units.
So I’m going to bet 200|times 2, or $400 on each hand.
Dealer: Here we go.
19. 18. 10. 18. 16…
Andy:|What’s the dealer got under there?
Dealer: …17.|What does the dealer have?
Dealer has a deuce.
Girl with glasses: Stay.|Dealer: 19 on a 2. Stay.
18 on a 2. Stay.
Andy: Of course I’m gonna double|my 10 against a dealer’s deuce.
I learned that on|my basic strategy card.
– Double that.|Dealer: Double on the 10.
Andy: Nice. 19.
Dealer: Very nice. 18 stays.|16 on a deuce. Stay.
Andy: Are you still keeping|track of the count?
Dealer: Here we go. Dealer opens up a 6.
21. Oh, I’m sorry.
Andy: That was a bummer.
As a blackjack player, there’s going to many times when the cards don’t fall your way.
The good news, is that even though we lost that hand,
the running count went up by 4 and is now a very juicy plus 19.
Did you get 19? If you didn’t watch that section of the DVD again, until your count is coming out the way it should.
There’s about 4 and 3/4 decks left.
19 divided by 4 and 3/4 is…
well, it’s too difficult to figure out at the blackjack table.
So let’s make things easier on ourselves.
I’m rounding the number of decks remaining up to 5.
and I’m also going to round the running count up to 20,
which is a multiple of 5.
Because I’m rounding both numbers in the same direction
and then dividing, the result will still be close.
20 divided by 5 is 4.
Our true count is plus 4.
4, our true count, minus 1, is 3.
So I’m going to bet 3 times my unit, or $600.
Dealer: Checks play.
The pit boss checked me out when I raised my bet.
That doesn’t always mean I’m in trouble.
It can mean he’s tracking my play so he can offer me a comp.
Or maybe he’s just lonely.
Keep track of the count as the hand progresses.
Remember, we started this hand at plus 19.
Dealer: Ah 20 very nice. 20 again.
Dealer: Big hands! 20. Wow|Great hands.
And dealer opens up. 10.|21. Congratulations.
15. Here we go. 25.
Andy: What’s the running count?
It was plus 19 at the beginning of the hand.
Two big cards dropped the count by 2.
Two more big cards do it again.
The blackjack was worth minus 2.
Two kings means subtract 2 more.
The 9 is invisible, and my ace cancels with the dealer’s 5.
Two more invisible cards.
Then two more big cards.
And the running count drops to plus 9.
There are about 4 and 1/2 decks left in the shoe.
9 divide by 4 and 1/2 is 2.
Our true count is 2.
The advantage has dropped, so we should lower our bet.
Blonde: What’s with that guy?
The easiest way to spot card counts is by their betting patterns.
I recently raised my bet up to $600.
Then, many high cards were dealt,
which resulted in me reducing my bet to $200.
So the pit boss is justifiably suspicious about my play.
He may be calling sureillance and asking them to keep an eye on me.
To throw them off my scent, I’m gonna make some camouflage
plays. I’m not gonna let them catch me.
You’ve mastered basic strategy, you count cards in your sleep,
you never fail to put out the correct bet.
It’s time to get rich, right?
Well, not so fast.
The casinos that once welcomed your amateur play
they’re not going to be so happy about your action
now that you’ve become a skillful player.
There are 2 ways to camouflage your play.
Good acting, and bad playing.
Good acting is essentially behaving like a typical gambler,
and not like a typical card counter.
This seems obvious, but it actually can be pretty challenging
to play and act, while at the same time keeping the count
and determining how much to bet.
Here are some examples of good acting.
Acting uninterested in other players’ cards.
Talking to the other players at the table.
Pretending to chase a winning streak when the count is high.
Preteding to be drunk.
Pretending to be a high roller.
Bad playing is another good way to make the casino think
you’re a juicy customer.
If you think you’re getting too much heat,
you might want to make a bad play
by going off basic strategy.
Here’re some examples of bad playing.
Making a basic strategy mistake.
For example, standing a 16 against a 10.
Don’t make a mistake that will cost you too much,
like doubling a 12 against a 6.
Another way to throw them off is to raise your bet when the count goes down.
Or you can raise your bet when the count is even.
The key is to keep camouflage inexpensive.
You’re playing blackjack to win money. Right?
Just remember to save bad plays for those times when you’ve made small bets.
And only use them when necessary. Don’t over do it.
I want to remind you that counting cards is perfectly legal.
All you’re doing is using your skills to beat the game.
But obviously, casinos don’t like losing their money.
And they have the right to ask you to leave at any time for any reason.
Because of this, you have to be able to detect heat.
You have to develop a sense for when your play is being scrutinized.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be overly paranoid.
Let’s consider some common scenarios,
to see how much we should be concerned about certain behaviors.
The pit boss looks at you, and then begins scribbling notes.
This isn’t usually a cause for concern.
They might be recording the amount you’re betting,
so they can offer you a comp.
If they offer you a comp, take it.
The pit boss starts talking to you.
This probably isn’t a cause for concern.
Act calm and friendly and continue play.
Avoid a confrontation.
The pit boss instructs the dealer to shuffle up.
This probably means they strongly suspect you’re counting.
Play a few more hands to put some doubt in their mind.
And then leave quietly.
The pit boss glares at you, and then gets on the phone.
This is probably a cause for concern.
You should think about leaving if you’re not in the middle of a hot shoe.
So you can come back another day.
The pit boss asks you to stop playing blackjack or to leave.
Don’t argue, just leave.
I’m not gonna let the pit boss intimidate me.
If he sees me acting nervous, he’ll suspect I’m a counter.
The key is to play it cool.
Our running count is at 9.
Because of the low true count, I’m only betting 1 unit on each hand.
Dealer: Nice so far.|Andy: Good start.
Dealer: Good start.
Andy: Alright! Blackjack.
– I love getting blackjack, it’s better than anything.
Well, almost anything.
Dealer: Dealer opens up a 3.
This looks like a good time for me to make a bad play,
but I’m not going to take a hit|with a 15 against the dealer’s 3.
Dealer: 15 on the 3. Stay.
20 on the 3. Stay.
Here we go.
Dealer opens up 6.
You’re still counting, right?
The running count has dropped to +3.
I don’t have an advantage,
but since I’m about even with the casino,
I’m gonna make a camouflage play that won’t cost me much.
I’m gonna raise my bet from $200 to $500.
When the pit boss sees me raising my bet
after a round of almost all face cards,
it’s unlikely that he’ll think I’m a counter.
The most effective camouflage happens to cost you nothing.
It’s called “team play.”
Team play is a division of labor.
When it works, it’s invisible.
Nearly impossible to detect.
It’s where the big money is in the world of blackjack.
Here’s how it works.
Each player on the team has a role.
A spotter is responsible for keeping track of the count.
When the count is high enough for the players to have the advantage,
the spotter signals another player,
a “gorilla” or a “big player”.
A gorilla acts like a high roller or drunk,
making large bets based on the signal from the spotter.
There are also back spotters or back counters.
They count cards from behind the table.
When the count is high enough to call in a player,
they give a signal.
A big player is different than a gorilla.
Once they’re passed a signal, they can keep
track of the count and adjust their bets on their own.
To an unsuspecting casino, team play is invisible.
It’s the ultimate camouflage.
The team should never meet in the|casino where they plan to play.
Andy: Hey.|Kat: Key.
Andy: Book a room at another casino.
10 years ago, Kat made a bundle of|money with the MIT blackjack team.
So money isn’t a motivator for her.
It’s the buzz of beating the casino|that keeps her in the game.
Kat: God, I love this city.
Andy: How’d he do?|Kat: Not bad.
Is he an alum?|Andy: No, I met him at the tables.
-Tyler is the newest member of the team.
He’s a rock solid counter|and will make a great spotter.
He’s never played for the big money.
But I think he’ll be able|to keep his nerves in check.
Andy: Hey. How’d it go?
Tyler: It was great.
Kat: Good, then. You won’t mind|doing another check out.
Andy: Team members should always practice their skills.
Kat: 12. 10. 9. 8. 7.
Do you come here often?
Andy: Especially the new members of the team.
Kat: What’s you’re name?|Where you from?
My name is Kat. Do you know what time it is?
Are you staying at the hotel?
Paul: Hey brother.
Andy: Hey, where you been?
– Paul was once the best|blackjack player in the world.
Recently he got himself stuck|pretty good betting sports.
His weakness is emotional control.
– What’s the signal|for the “deck is hot”?
Kat: OK. Good. What’s the signal for a cold shoe?
Paul, get out now.
Paul: Come on you guys, this was like 6 years ago.
Can we just drop it?
Andy: Ok, let’s talk about the target.
– Which casino should the team target?
Here’s why we chose our fictional casino.
The music awards are in town this weekend,
and this casino will be packed|with rock stars and high rollers.
This casino’s gonna be taking a lot of action.
The surveillance is going to be strethed thin.
In other words, we should be able to put out the big bets
without attracting heat.
Another reason to choose a|casino is deep deck penetration.
This casino deals at least|75% of the cards in a shoe,
which increases the likelihood|of higher true counts.
Remember, we all|have specific jobs.
There she goes, like a machine.
Tyler gave Kat the signal for a positive shoe.
Kat came over to the table.
And Tyler passed the|count with a verbal signal.
Then Tyler stuck around to make|sure Kat picked up the right count,
by watching how much she bet.
Based on the current team bankroll,|our betting unit is 500.
Now, Tyler’s looking for a|shoe that’s being shuffled,
or about to be shuffled.
That’s the way it’s done.
Keeping records is critical.
I’ve been playing for over an hour,|and I haven’t had a decent shoe.
The running count is now plus 8.
The true count is less than 2.
Not quite enough|to signal Paul over.
You don’t want to call in|a big player or a gorilla,
until the true count|gets up to about 3.
Try to keep up with the count as|the team plays a few hands.
We’re starting with a running count of 8.
Remember, if you wait until|the second pass of cards
to start counting, it will|be easier to group them.
The running count is now plus 12.
There are 3 decks remaining.
12 divided by 3 is 4.
Our true count is 4.
Subtract 1 to get 3.
It’s time to start|betting 3 times our unit.
And it’s time to signal in Paul.
Paul: Hey everybody!
Andy: Hey brother.
Paul: Lucky lady, right dealer?|Dealer: I hope so.
Andy: I wonder if Paul|picked up the count.
He picked up the count|and bet the correct amount.
I’ll just play one hand,|and Paul will play 2.
It’s good to mix it up|every now and then.
You’re still counting, right?
When things go well, you’re gonna|have a lot of money out on the table.
Keep your head together.
You still have to know your basic strategy.
And remember to count.
Paul: Lady luck, I love you.
After all those cards, the|running count is still at 12.
Always watch that the|dealer pays you off correctly.
They’re usually not|trying to rip you off.
They just make|mistakes once in a while.
Griff: Yah.|Got it.
Keep your eye on that guy.
Pit says he’s moving|his money with the count.
Woman: Hmm. OK.|Let’s see what he’s up to.
Andy: Doesn’t Paul see the pit boss?
Considering how much he’s|up, this heat is legitimate.
Paul: Alright Pamela.
Big cards.|Little cards.
Andy: How you|doing with the count?
We started this hand at plus 12.
When you split aces, you|only get one card on each.
Paul: Come on!
That’s right, bust. Bust!
Andy: Good. Paul sees the pit boss,
and will probably|make a camouflage play.
Our running count|is now up to 16.
What is he doing?
We were only gonna|bet $2000 max tonight.
He’s gonna get kicked out.
Andy: We started this hand|with a running count of 16.
I hope you can control|yourself better than Paul.
Ugh. That hurts.
But our running count|is up to an incredible 18.
Andy: Paul is really|exceeding our maximum bet.
No one else is betting|that much tonight.
Paul: Come on, two blackjacks.|Two blackjacks dealer. Right now.
We’re starting with|a running count of 18.
Make sure you keep the count.
Ah, well, the dealer got blackjack.
But the count is still plus 16.
There are about 2|decks left in the shoe.
Our true count is a|very favorable 8.
Griff: Yeah, he’s moving|his money with the count.
Too bad the cards|aren’t falling his way.
C’mon, we just need|to ride out this shoe.
The count is so high, Paul|has got to keep it together.
I’m trying to get his attention.
I’m gonna kill him.
Dealer: Good luck.
Andy: He’s betting like|an out of control freak.
Yeah, we have a|very favorable count.
But is it worth getting|kicked out now?
Dealer: 19. 9.
Paul: Split ’em.|Dealer: Splitting tens.
Andy: Oh my god. Splitting|10s is for morons or counters.
Or in this case, moron counters.
He’s killed himself.
He’s gonna get kicked out.
We have way too much to gain|this weekend to be this risky.
I hope you’re still counting.
Paul: Big card, big card,|big card, big card.
Andy: Our running count is up|to an astronomical plus 23.
The true count is over 13.
Pit boss: Shuffle up.
Andy: We could’ve made|a killing on that shoe.
Pit boss: Excuse me sir.|Sir may I have a word with you?
Paul: I’m in the|middle of something.
Pit boss: Sir, may I please,|if you wouldn’t mind.
Step right over here for me.
Paul: Money plays.
Pit boss: Don’t accept|this man’s money.
Sir, don’t have me remove you.
Griff: That guy in the|cowboy hat is Bloch.
Andy Bloch, MIT guy.
That punk is mine.
Andy: She quit.|Paul: Kat quit?
Andy: What were you thinking?
The pit boss was right|there and you still split tens.
Paul: Yeah, but the count|was so high, I couldn’t lose.
Andy: You got yourself kicked out,
and you put the rest|of the team in jeopardy.
Paul: I’m sorry, OK,|It won’t happen again.
Andy: You’re right, it|won’t happen again.
Andy: Paul, I gotta kick|you off the team.
Andy: You can’t go|back in that casino
Paul: Oh Andy, come on.
Andy: Think about it.
Griff: Bingo. Right monitor.
Keep your eye on the|guy in the cowboy hat.
Make sure he doesn’t leave.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know who|he looks like, but it’s not him.
Pit Boss: Sorry sir, I’m gonna|to need you to follow me.
Rock star: What’s the problem?
Pit boss: I need you to come|with me, right this way please.
Andy: If they think that’s|me, they’re way off.
This is me right here,|looking very 1978.
With Kat gone, our|bankroll is smaller,
so our betting|unit is down to 400.
Tyler: Was it this|crowded on Friday?
Andy: That was my verbal signal.
The count is plus 13.|There are 4 decks left.
The true count is about 3.
I subtract 1 and get 2.
I multiply my current unit by 2
giving me $800.
We started this hand at plus 13.
Dealer: Insurance anybody?
Andy: Because the true|count is greater than 3,
I’m gonna take insurance.
When the dealer has an Ace,
it’s critical to count the|cards as fast as possible.
If they have blackjack, they scoop|up the cards very quickly.
Did you catch the count?
It’s now plus 11.
Hey, it’s Johnny Chan.
And Owen Wilson’s counsin.
I’m only supposed to bet|800 dollars here. Two units.
But I want to vary|my bet from Tyler’s,
so it doesn’t look like we’re|both betting the same amount.
Perfect. Our combined bets equal|two hands at $800 per hand.
Tyler’s doing a great job.
He’s supposed to surrender that 16.
Ooh, he hits and busts.
Any big card.
How about a 6.
I guess Johnny’s sticking to poker.
Tyler remembered to surrender|his 15 against a dealer’s 10.
Our running count is at plus 15.
The true count is at 5.
5 minus 1 means we|should bet 4 units.
I’m gonna make an over bet|knowing Tyler will even us out.
Two twenties. I like it.
And a blackjack for Tyler.
Ten in the hole.
There we go!
Our running count has dropped to 7.
I feel like Howard Stern in this wig.
OK, it’s later in the evening,
and thankfully, Kat decided|to rejoin the team.
This is great news.
Our betting unit is now up to 1000.
Kat: Well boys, are we here to|gamble or are we here to gamble?
Tyler: Pool still open?
Dealer: Sorry, closed at 11.
Tyler: So I’ll just keep playing.
Andy: It’s easy to remember that|”pool” is the verbal signal for 8.
The two Os in the word pool|look like an 8 on its side.
The true count is 3,|so we’ll bet 2 units.
But I’m just gonna bet 1000.
Tyler saw that I only bet 1000|when I was supposed to bet 2000.
So he made up the difference by|betting the extra $1000 himself.
We’re playing on the same bankroll,|so the main thing that matters
is the average amount|wagered per hand.
Remember, don’t split|9s against a 7.
Our running count is up to 9.
Casino manager: There’s a rock star|being detained in my hallway.
Griff:|You’re not falling for that accent.
That guy is Bloch.
Manager: I see.|So then tell me detective,
how did Andy manage|to shrink himself 6 inches?
Griff: That’s Bloch!
Andy:|This the last hand for this shoe.
And the true count is positive 11.
This is awesome. We’re spreading|bets by a multiple of 10 units.
What the hell is he doing here?
We’re probably already made|and the count’s so high,
I’m gonna split 10s.
C’mon, let’s see some high cards.
Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!
If we can just get this hand played!
Damn, here comes the heat.
Flip the damn cards!
Deal! C’mon dealer, let’s|go, let’s go, let’s go!
Let’s get this hand played. Deal!
Yes! 22! The dealer busts,|we just won 80 grand.
Paul: Hey, he, he just cheated me.
Andy: Thanks Paul.
Security: Settle down, calm down.
Paul: That was kinda fun, wasn’t it?
Andy: A little too much fun.
I’m sorry about the other night.
Oh boy, is she gonna|rip me a new one?
I know, I know…
Kat: You took one for|the team, didn’t you?
Tyler: Thanks man!
Andy: To the team!
Tyler: The team.
Andy: And hey, if you happen|to see me playing blackjack,
please don’t blow my cover|by thanking me for this DVD.
Thanks again and good luck.
Dealer: Better luck next time.
Dealer: New player.
Andy: Two thousand.
Blonde: Ooh, high rollin’.
And you got an|ace up your sleeve.
Brunette: Let me see that.|That is so cute.
Andy: God, I love this shirt.